2016 GGPAA for Lifetime Artistic Achievement – Theatre
Suzanne Lebeau, playwright and co-artistic director of Le Carrousel, compagnie de théâtre, is the recipient of the GGPAA for Lifetime Artistic Achievement – Theatre, the highest distinction awarded in the performing arts in Canada. The names of the 2016 recipients were revealed this morning (April 14th) by the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation during an event held at Centre Phi in Montréal. Alongside Ms. Lebeau, four other artists received Lifetime Artistic Achievement Awards in their respective disciplines: Susan Aglukark (Popular Music), Marie Chouinard (Dance), Ben Heppner (Classical Music), Robert Lantos (Film).
Each year, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards recognize a group of artists and arts volunteers for their outstanding lifetime contribution to Canada’s cultural life. The 2016 recipients will be honoured at various events taking place in Ottawa in June, culminating with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala presented at the National Arts Centre on Saturday, June 11.
For more than forty years, Suzanne Lebeau has devoted herself to playwriting. This distinction underlines her extraordinary contribution to theatre, testifying to the importance in cultural life of theatre for young audiences.
“Children always understand much more than we think. They have great moral strength and are incredibly open to the most contemporary forms and the most audacious ideas.”
Suzanne Lebeau first intended to make a career as an actress. But after founding Le Carrousel with Gervais Gaudreault in 1975, she gradually left acting to devote herself exclusively to writing. Today, she has more than 30 original plays to her credit and is internationally recognized as a leader in playwriting for young audiences. She is among the most-performed Quebec playwrights in the world, with more than 150 productions of her works on all continents. Her plays have been published in many countries and translated into 25 languages.
Suzanne Lebeau’s exceptional contribution to the flourishing of theatre for young audiences has earned her numerous awards and distinctions, including the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama in 2009; the Prix Sony Labou Tansi des lycéens in 2009; and Prix des Journées de Lyon des auteurs de théâtre in 2007 for The Sound of Cracking Bones, a play premièred by Le Carrousel and Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui in 2009 and staged in 2010 by the Comédie-Française. In 1998, the Assemblée internationale des parlementaires de langue française made her a Knight of the Order of the Pleiades for her body of work, and in 2010 the Government of Quebec awarded her the Prix Athanase-David, the most prestigious lifetime achievement recognition for Quebec authors. She received in 2012 the Hommage CINARS Award and in 2013 the one of RIDEAU, the network for performing arts presenters and one of the most important international gatherings regarding the francophone arts scene in America, and the Gascon-Thomas Award from the National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) for his outstanding contribution to the development of theater in Canada. In 2015, she received a career award from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec in recognition of her exceptional contribution to her art.